KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Unveiled Health Care Bills Show Just How Far Apart Parties Are Despite Ongoing Bipartisan Efforts

As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee races to find bipartisan fixes to stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, two groups of senators release controversial health care bills designed to replace the current system in very different ways. It's unlikely either will pass, but those continued efforts shine a light on how difficult it will be to get lawmakers to agree on a solution.

The New York Times: Medicare For All Or State Control: Health Care Plans Go To Extremes
In one Senate office building, some of the leading lights of the Democratic Party gathered Wednesday to embrace what was once a proposal only of the far left: a huge expansion of Medicare, large enough to open the popular, government-run health program to all Americans. In another Senate office building, a smaller but equally adamant group of Republican senators stood together to take one last stab at dismantling the Affordable Care Act. They proposed instead to send each state a lump sum of federal money, along with sweeping new discretion over how to use it. (Pear, 9/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Senate Backpedals On Bipartisan Approach To Health Law
A week after Republicans and Democrats held the first bipartisan hearing on ways to fix the 2010 health-care law, the Senate was once more divided on Wednesday, with one side continuing efforts to undo the ACA and the other pushing to expand government-sponsored health coverage. Neither plan holds any appeal to the opposite party, and they lack even full support from their respective caucuses. That leaves the question of how Congress can move ahead on health care amid a widespread perception that the ACA is flawed but that Republicans don’t have a politically viable replacement. (Hackman, 9/13)

Los Angeles Times: Bipartisan Effort To Stabilize Health Insurance Markets Is Coming Down To The Wire
Despite broad support from consumer advocates, state officials and healthcare leaders across the country, a bipartisan effort in Congress to stabilize health insurance markets and control rising premiums is being threatened by resurgent political fighting over the Affordable Care Act. With time running out before millions of Americans could be subject to major rate hikes, it is increasingly unclear if Congress will be able to come together to offer relief. (Levey, 9/13)

The Hill: Trump Is 'Open' To ObamaCare Fix, Lawmakers Say 
President Trump was "open" to the idea of a bipartisan ObamaCare stabilization bill but did not make any commitments during a meeting Wednesday with a group of House lawmakers, attendees said. The bipartisan group of lawmakers, known as the Problem Solvers, pitched Trump on their plan to stabilize ObamaCare markets. (Sullivan, 9/13)

Seattle Times: Sen. Patty Murray Is Working With Republicans On Obamacare Fix 
During her re-election campaign last fall, Sen. Patty Murray promised repeatedly to work with Republicans to break gridlock in Congress. That promise was quickly put to a stiff test after the presidential election by the partisan chasm on health care. President Trump and the GOP pushed to repeal Obamacare, and Murray’s conciliatory campaign prose turned combative. At times, Murray, who has a record of bipartisan deal-making, sounded like a partisan warrior. (Kelleher, 9/13)

Kaiser Health News: Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ Health Plans Busting Out All Over
In a busy health week for Congress, Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee agreed on a proposal to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five more years, while Republicans and Democrats at the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee continued to pursue a joint plan to stabilize the individual health insurance market. (9/13)

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